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For Immediate Release
December 16, 2003
Contact: Chip Gavin
207-626-8406

***MEDIA ADVISORY***
Highway Safety Advocates To Kickoff Annual Holiday Reminder Program
Safety Awareness Event Scheduled for Friday, December 19, 2003 at 10:00 a.m.

AUGUSTA, MAINE -- Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky and representatives from highway safety organizations will launch the seventh annual Holiday Highway Safety Awareness Event at a news conference on Friday, December 19th, at 10:00 a.m. next to Exit 14 A (West Gardiner) of the Maine Turnpike.

As part of the annual Holiday Highway Safety Awareness Event, information cards will be distributed at all tollbooths on the Maine Turnpike reminding travelers of the dangers of drinking and driving, as well as encouraging travelers to take a break from the road when feeling drowsy or tired.

“Highway safety is a concern to all travelers in our state. It is especially important this time of year to remind motorists that safety is paramount. We must be vigilant about the message that drinking and driving is unacceptable, and that tried drivers pose a real danger to those on our highways,” Secretary of State Gwadosky commented. “This reminder event raises awareness during the holiday season, and encourages responsible driving throughout the new year.”

Participating in this project:

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky
Maine Sheriff's Association
Maine Turnpike Authority Mothers Against Druk Driving
Maine State Police Maine Transportation Safety Coalition
Maine Chiefs of Police Parents Against Tired Truckers

Approximately 30,000 cards encouraging highway safety will be distributed to motorists at tollbooths across the length of the Maine Turnpike during the holiday season. Similar highway safety messages will also be displayed on the variable message boards located throughout the turnpike system, courtesy of the Maine Turnpike Authority (MTA).

The MTA, HMSHost and New England Coffee will also be providing an additional benefit to motorists who redeem the reminder cards at rest areas along the turnpike. Information on this benefit will be available on the date of the event and there will be an opportunity for interviews.

December has been designated by Presidential proclamation as “National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month.” Last year more than 17,000 people were killed nationwide in crashes involving alcohol.

Note: Exit 14A is the toll plaza located on the main part of the turnpike (leading to Lewiston ), not the exit from the route 95 connector .